“The use of kettlebells has grown immensely over the past few years, as they can offer a great bang for your buck when it comes to time spent exercising and quality of results.”
- Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., ACE Chief Science Officer
ACE is one of the largest fitness certification, education and training organizations in the world. They recently commissioned a study at the Exercise and Health Program of the University of Wisconsin that concluded:
“The average study participant burned approximately 20 calories per minute during a kettlebell snatch workout. This equates to an astounding 400 calories during a 20-minute workout… the equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace.”
But can the “iron” kettlebell ever really go mainstream? A number of health clubs and training centers tend to shy away from group kettlebell classes for safety issues. If dropped, just once, those iron orbs will destroy a wooden floor. If dropped during a swing, not only is the floor at risk but so are nearby athletes.
Then consider the snatch movement. The same exercise used in the study sanctioned by ACE. It takes several training sessions to develop the timing necessary to avoid bruising the forearm, as the snatch requires the kettlebell to flip over the wrist and rest against the lower arm.
If your timing is right-on, the kettlebell will gently lands against the forearm. It’s not uncommon to see seasoned kettlebell athletes wear a guard to help absorb the impact during high rep workouts. If your timing is off, the bell can slam against the forearm and leave behind an ugly bruise.
Is there an alternative to iron in the kettlebell? There are a few options, from hard plastic to sand-filled bells. Hard plastic will absorb impact better than iron but won’t be gentle against your forearm or a delicate wooden floor for that matter.
Portable Kettlebells were popular with the U.S. military not only because of their portability (10 oz. weight when empty) and scalability in weight, but because they posed minimal risk of injury when compared to their iron counterparts.
The PKB is also an effective tool for the amateur athlete and used by kettlebell coaches for teaching mechanics and timing to kids and adults. The flexible handle helps teach the hip-drive behind the kettlebell swing, and the soft body is more forgiving on the forearm for practicing the clean and snatch.
We don’t believe there will ever be a replacement of the traditional, iron kettlebell. It’s been around for centuries, and its simple design and straight-forward construction will remain a staple for the strength and weight training gyms of the world.
But the Portable Kettlebell finally delivers a functional and durable option that is not only highly portable and weight-adjustable for the traveling athlete but one that can be easily and safely used by a greater number of people regardless of skill level.